Real Madrid are close to signing midfielder Andre Gomes, which could be bad news for Mateo Kovacic.Los Blancos are currently negotiating with Valencia over the transfer and, should it go through, would leave the Croatian midfielder even further down the pecking order.
Kovacic was one of Rafa Benitez’s signings last summer, moving from Inter for €30 million, but has failed to fit into the side, earning very few minutes under either Benitez or Zinedine Zidane.While the club would be happy to hear offers from other clubs, the player wants to prove his worth during pre-season and show the coach he can be a useful member of the team.In order to do so, the midfielder has travelled with the squad to Montreal, despite playing in this year’s European Championship with Croatia, rather than stay on holiday.
The French coach is happy with Kovacic’s work rate, but knows he can’t make room for everyone.The midfielder is admired by a number of clubs in Italy and England, most notably Liverpool, where Jurgen Klopp is hoping to bolster his team.
Liverpool and Milan are thought to be the most seriously interested sides, with the Rossoneri looking for a loan with obligation to buy. In order to sweeten the deal, a buyback clause could be inserted, similar to the arrangement which saw Alvaro Morata move to Juventus before returning to Bernabeu this summer.
Kovacic made a total of 25 league appearances for Real in his debut season after signing from Inter Milan and despite his reported desire to stay – he’s even returned to pre-season training early in a bid to impress – it’s likely the player will be used to raise funds as the European champions pursue other targets.
He initially joined the club for £26m, and Liverpool may need to pay a similar fee to secure the deal for the Croatian.